MetLife, a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced the availability of grief counseling services on its basic group life insurance programs. This offering gives employees access to licensed professional counselors and related services. It will be available January 1, 2014, subject to state availability, for new and existing customers, at no additional cost to the employer or employee. To help individuals with difficult emotional challenges, MetLife’s grief counseling service, provided by Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI), Inc., provides employees, their dependents and beneficiaries with counseling to help them cope with grief following the death of a loved one or a major life change such as divorce, loss of employment, or financial hardship. Employees and their dependents may consult with a highly-credentialed counselor up to five times per event. Personal attention matters most at these times and visits can take place face-to-face, or via phone, depending upon individual preference. The counselors are available nationwide and are licensed professionals with extensive experience working with people who have suffered a loss or a major life change triggering feelings of grief. The counseling provided is confidential and offered at no cost on MetLife’s basic term life programs. “Giving employees and their dependents access to these types of services helps them get back to a productive life. Providing the resources, comfort, and support to deal with a loss helps enhance the group life benefits program for all stakeholders,” says Stephen L. Pontecorvo, vice president, Group Life, MetLife. “This valuable service can ease employee stress levels and increase their focus and peace of mind which can result in greater productivity, offering employers added value.” In addition to the counseling service, which is available 24/7, employees have access to research specialists who can find services and send referrals, at no cost, if further assistance is desired. These services may include locating a funeral home; identifying a monument vendor; locating back-up care for children or adults; finding specific support groups; and more.